OCEANSIDE, California — President Joe Biden told a crowd Thursday evening that former President Donald Trump had used the term “patriots” to refer to people like the man who attacked Paul Pelosi, husband of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
Paul Pelosi was attacked last week in his home by a disturbed Canadian illegal alien nudist activist who lived in a commune and who subscribed to conspiracy theories, including about the 2020 election.
Biden told the crowd:
And how can you call yourself a democracy when you have a group of 1,000 people who storm the United States Capitol, break the windows and doors down, two policemen die as a consequence of it [sic]break through the House and Senate doors and chambers, have people cowering on the floor, threatening to kill people? You saw what happened to Paul Pelosi, in an effort to get to Nancy. Well, guess what? What do they call these guys? What do Trump and all his Trumpies call them? He said they’re “patriots.” No! No! No! No! No! Not a joke! These are “patriots”!
There were no police officers killed in the Capitol riot, though one who was attacked, Brian Sicknick, later died of natural causes.
There is no record of Trump calling Paul Pelosi’s assailant a “patriot,” though he has said that of protesters at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, apparently referring to those who were not guilty of violent crimes (which he condemned shortly after the riot).
Biden claimed that Pelosi’s assailant was evoking the Capitol riot because he demanded “Where is Nancy?”, just as some rioters had done.
Biden campaigned in coastal Orange County on Thursday evening, helping embattled Democrats with their get-out-the-vote effort as polls suggest that Republicans are surging around the country — even California.
Biden spoke before a crowd of several hundred at MiraCosta Community College. For much of his address, he faced the back corner or the wall behind him, where several rows of supporters were arrayed onstage. He also read from the New York Times — on the topic of Republicans allegedly plotting to change Social Security and Medicare, which he said were both at stake in the midterm elections — and reminisced about overcoming a stutter in his youth.
He recounted a list of claimed accomplishments by his administration, including fixing the Department of Veterans Affairs — though that was an achievement of the Trump administration, following years of scandals during the Obama-Biden administration.
When a group of protesters silently held up images on their smartphones that read “Free Iran,” Biden responded positively, saying that Iranians would one day free themselves.
Biden was introduced by Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA), whose newly-redrawn 49th district is more competitive than the one he won in the 2018 midterm elections — and who faces a challenge from Republican Brian Maryott, who is just a few points behind.
Levin called on voters to “make elections the bedrock of our democracy again” and to “stand up for the brave fighters in Ukraine,” among other causes.
Biden told the audience that the election was “not a referendum” on his presidency, but a “choice” between two alternatives.
Outside, dozens of protesters gathered. Some were pro-Trump, and waved signs with slogans such as “Let’s Go Brandon” and “10% for the Big Guy,” the latter a reference to the cut that Biden is said to have demanded from a joint venture with a Chinese company.
Orange County was once a Republican stronghold, but a majority of voters chose Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, and Republicans lost four congressional seats in the county in 2018. Democrats expected to hold the area with increasing ease in subsequent elections, thanks to the leftward shift among wealthier voters and a growing Latino voter base.
However, Republicans took back two of those seats in 2020 — led by two female Korean American Republicans, Reps. Michelle Steel and Young Kim.
Levin has a staunch left-wing background. With Latino voters moving rightward, and suburban voters increasingly concerned about the economy and crime, suburban areas such as the 49th district are becoming key battlegrounds in the fight for control of Congress.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBERtells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.